It’s a Fresh COVID-19 Epidemic – Dr. Divala

Dr. Divala says all preventive measures need to be followed all the time Dr. Divala says all preventive measures need to be followed all the time - file photo

Epidemiologist at College of Medicine, Dr. Titus Divala, says calling the new version of COVID-19 “second wave” is undermining the disease, saying what the country is experiencing now is a fresh epidemic altogether.

Dr. Divala says he is equally puzzled with the high speed of transmission of the new version of COVID-19.

He says he expected to see a slower and less painful second wave of COVID-19 as the virus gets weaker with passing time which he says is contrary to what the country is experiencing now.

“We indeed had a complete cycle of infections. Hospitalizations and deaths started building up in May 2020, peak at the end of July 2020 and subsided at the end of August 2020. One would consider what we have now as a second wave, but that would be an underestimate. Indeed we expected and correctly predicted that a second wave would occur from December 2020,” he said.

“People infected in the first wave are often immune by the time a second wave comes. However, with the new COVID-19, the fresh round of infections are spreading much faster than before.

“In the first wave, we had a long period before seeing large numbers of hospitalizations. This time, we have seen a jump of hospitalizations from 19 to 70 in just seven days.

“It took very long to start seeing large numbers of death in the last wave, and the highest we recorded in a single day was 9 deaths on 01 August, 2020; but this time it has just been a few weeks and have already started seeing 10 in 24 hours,” he said.

Dr. Divala added that the country has also seen “people who were infected in the first wave getting sick again. This is a new epidemic; an epidemic within epidemic.”

He has, therefore, warned that the country will face tough times ahead owing to new version of COVID-19 if people do not limit their movements to essential activities only.

“If we have to leave our households to do those essential activities, make sure that we wear masks, watch our distance to ensure observance of 2 meters and wash hands regularly.

“People who are aged 60 or above, or those with heart or lung diseases, hypertension, or diabetes, cancer or HIV, or other chronic illness need to be supported by relatives, workmates or government to live and observe all the prevention measures carefully,” he said.

Various quarters of the country have been expressing dissatisfaction with the way the country is enforcing COVID-19 preventive measures.

They argue there has been laxity in observing the preventive measures.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 12/01/2021

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